Jonah Goldberg

John Kerry gave what his fans and his critics say was his best speech on Iraq and foreign policy so far. Basically, Kerry has decided that the Iraq war is a Vietnam-like mistake, that the "world," not America, should fix Iraq, and that America should get out, fast. Of course, this is basically an expanded version of one of his recent anti-war stances. And now that I've read Kerry's first, best and allegedly last iteration of his views on Iraq and the War on Terrorism, I've come to one obvious conclusion: The Democrats should have nominated Wesley Clark

Truth be told, I was never a big fan of the guy. But if the Clark everyone expected to run had actually run, Bush would be in huge trouble right now. Recall that before Clark got into the primaries he was generally perceived to be a moderate, Southern New Democrat and something of a hawk on foreign policy. When he ran the Kosovo war - which was not authorized by the UN, not aimed at WMDs, not part of the war on terrorism - he was always pushing for a more aggressive approach. As late as 2002 Clark was toasting the Bush team at a Republican fundraiser and he even admitted that he'd voted for Reagan and might have become an active Republican if only the White House had returned his phone calls.

The problem for Clark was that he didn't run as Clark. He ran as a Howard Dean with a mothballed General's uniform. That's why, at the time, I kept referring to him as the "Johnny Bravo" candidate. This was a reference to the "Brady Bunch" episode in which some slick music promoters asked Greg Brady to be a new rock star, "Johnny Bravo." Greg thought they liked him for his talent, when all they really wanted was someone who looked good in the costume. Democratic insiders - starting with Bill Clinton himself - kept insisting that a Democratic candidate with Wesley Clark's credibility on defense would crush the Republicans because American voters favor Democrats on domestic issues by a wide margin.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
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